Mistake #1: Accepting Payments After Your Coaching Call Is Finished
One bad experience from a client who refused to pay made me realize you MUST get the full payment before you do a coaching call.
This protects your ass from time wasters, or people who think they can get your time and value for free.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who will waste your time, not show up to calls, or try and take you for a ride.
It's your job as a thought leader, expert, and super-awesome-coach to set your expectations and protect yourself from these people in the first place.
It's just the smart thing to do.
So here's what I recommend from experience:
#1: Get Your Coaching Payment First
After a client books a coaching call or coaching package with you, ask them to make a payment to confirm this call.
By doing this you will avoid the people who waste your time (e.g. book a call and don't show up).
If you are selling a coaching package, I would suggest at least getting 50% of the total cost up front. This will weed out clients who are not serious about getting help and results with you.
For the other 50% you can request it before each coaching call, or at the end of your package.
In addition to this, I would also suggest you create the following to save you from any hassle or arguments with those stressful types of clients:
#2: Create Coaching Terms and Conditions
Aside from your standard website terms and conditions, you'll want these two policies for your coaching:
Coaching Cancelation Policy
Have something in place that explains how your client can cancel the coaching call if required, and what the penalty is if the decide to no show on your call.
I allow cancelations 12 hours before the call, with respect and understanding for those unexpected live events. If someone doesn't show for the call, it is canceled and no refund is issued. I state this clearly in my policy, and it saves your time being wasted and only has serious clients booking with you.
Coaching Refund Policy
If you're happy to issue refunds, make sure it's clear about how you process refunds and what is acceptable to be legible for a refund.
I personally don't offer refunds for my coaching, but would be happy to accommodate anyone under the right circumstances.
Mistake #2: Accepting Coaching Clients That Are Not a Good Fit
The bottom line is that you always want to help more people, and the way you do that is through having more coaching clients.
The problem is that you CAN'T help everyone, it's just the way it is.
People have all different kinds of:
- Desired Solutions
- Financial Status
- And so on...
By saying "Yes, I can help you" to someone you can't help is unethical and a waste of both your time and theirs.
For example, I wouldn't accept a client who has a physical store and needs help selling products, because I focus on helping other online coaches.
Therefore, you should always have an application process for people to apply for coaching with you.
This lets you screen out those who do, and do not, fit the criteria of someone you can help to your best ability.
You can also then take this information and do a free 15-30 minute discovery call, to further learn more about them, their problems, their goals, and more. Allowing you to have control over who you help, so that you can making a bigger impact to those who need it most and will benefit the most from you calls.
Mistake #3: Being Mr. "Tell Me About Yourself"
Getting to know who your client is before you jump on your first call is important, especially because your relationship is new.
Don't start with a blank page.
In Mistake #2 we talked about an application process, and even hosting a free discovery call with potential clients.
This alone should help you get important information and hot topics to discuss, so that you can provide value and gain trust with your prospect.
Show up with that information ready for your call, and have that information already revised so that you are attentive to your client and show them that you care and are the right person to help them.
Nothing is worse then jumping on a call and the coach says "So tell me about yourself".
Instead be the coach that says:
"I see you tried to ________ in June last year but it didn't go so well, would you mind sharing more about that experience?".
Doesn't that sound better?
Mistake #4: Not Following Up After The Call
I've lost a lot of clients because I never followed up.
Even clients who said "This was fantastic, I can't wait to book another call. I'll be in touch next week" to never hear from them again.
It's your responsibility as an expert, leader, and coach to make the next call or step happen.
If you want to truly make an impact — and add more revenue to your business — you need to put in the effort to build those close relationships with those who want your help.
Create a 'communication schedule' or 'process' to stay in contact with your clients.
Talk to them:
- A day before your call, to make sure they're prepared and doing well
- A day after your coaching call, make sure they're setup for success and know what their homework is
- A few days (3-7) after the call, to check in on how they're doing and progressing with what you discussed on your call
Because your a coach, I know your care about your clients success.
So reach out, go that extra mile, and make them feel confident that they picked the right person to help them.
Mistake #5: Talking Too Much On The Call
I talk too much.
It's not because I think I'm great and that everyone should hear my ideas.
It's because I use to think that if I give my client as much value and knowledge as possible, it will help them more: the concept that more is better.
With coaching, giving too much is counterproductive.
By flooding your client with information, it leaves them feeling overwhelmed and takes all the power away from their transformation or own self discovery for the solution.
The best coaches listen, and ask questions.
If you haven't picked up The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier, go and give it a read because it revolutionizes the way you approach coaching.
Typically your client knows what needs to be done, or at least they have some ideas of what they could do, they're just not confident which is the right choice.
It's your job to help them pick the right answer and give them support and encouragement to execute on it.
So let your client speak.
Sit there attentively.
And ask questions.
Mistake #6: Not Thinking Bigger
When I started my online coaching business I was helping clients one-on-one with their Instagram marketing.
The problem is that one-on-one services limits your potential to make a bigger change and drive more revenue in your business.
That's why creating and launching a digital training product, such as an online course, workshop, masterclass, or even group coaching program can allow you to reach more people with your message, help them, and create a passive-income stream of income in your life.
By creating for example an online course, you allow yourself to help more people as you're not restricted by time or reaching client capacity.
You also open up the gates to scalability because you're no longer restricted by a coaching schedule and limited number of spots.
Anyone can join your online course at any time of the day/month/year, because you can automate the sales funnel process from start to finish.
I believe that it's so important for coaches to create products that allow them to help more people and scale.
That's why I created a free training for you where you can learn the process and strategy to successfully launch an online course.